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Jon Dean

Jon Dean PhD, BA

Senior Lecturer in Politics and Sociology


Jon lectures in Politics and Sociology. His research interests focus on the voluntary sector, the political sociology of charity, homelessness and the sociology of youth.

  • About

    Jon started at Sheffield Hallam University in 2012 after completing a PhD examining how social class affects youth volunteering in the UK. This research used Pierre Bourdieu's ideas to show how the voluntary sector, despite being a part of society we expect to challenge inequalities often serves to reproduce them. This research has been published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Voluntary Sector Review and the British Journal of the Sociology of Education.

    Jon also has a keen interest in innovative and reflexive research methods. My first monograph, Doing Reflexivity:  An Introduction, was published by Policy Press in 2017, and sought to provide researchers of all stages a rationale for being reflexive and a guide to doing it. Jon has also used drawing methods to explore homelessness, and soundscapes to document changes in universities.

    My current research explores multiple facets of how charity is operationalized within society. The Doing Digital Charity project is investigating how young people perceive and experience charity on social media, how they interact with calls for donations or shares and retweets, and whether they feel comfortable with such public displays of morality and empathy. Jon is also currently working on a wide-ranging qualitative and theoretically-informed research project entitled The Symbolic Power of Charity, Jon is exploring charity's social role as persuader, manipulator and shortcut to presenting oneself  as 'good'.

    Jon is a Membership Officer for the Voluntary Sector Studies Network, and frequent peer reviewer for many leading Social Science journals and book publishers.

    Senior Lecturer

    • Charity;
    • Class;
    • Inequality;
    • Research Methods;
    • Volunteering and Voluntary Sector;
    • Youth.

  • Teaching

    Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

    Social Sciences and Humanities

    Politics and Sociology

    • BA Politics;
    • BA Sociology;
    • BA Applied Social Science;
    • BA Criminology and Sociology;
    • MRes Social Research.

    • Introduction to Politics and Society;
    • Shaping Societies;
    • Research Methods in Politics;
    • Youth: Chaos and Control;
    • Charity and Community;
    • Dissertation (Politics);
    • Dissertation (Sociology);
    • Dissertation (Masters in Research).

  • Research

    • Centre for Voluntary Sector Research
    • Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies
  • Publications

  • Other activities

    • Editorial Board of Sociological Research Online;
    • Editorial Board of Voluntary Sector Review;
    • Member of the British Sociological Association;
    • Member of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network;
    • Member of the Association for Research on Non-profit Organisations and Voluntary Action;
    • Member of the WRDTP Advanced Qualitative Methods Panel.

  • Postgraduate supervision

    • Sarah Boodt (EdD): Placement experiences of trainee teachers in further education;
    • Ruth Squire (PhD): The role of third sector organisations in widening participation policy.

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